Karnataka Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri on Thursday gave his go-ahead to discuss 'One Nation, One Election', prompting a protest by Congress party members who called it "an RSS agenda".
Opposition Congress MLAs said that the discussion on the subject was being taken up against the rules governing the functioning of the Assembly and without their contest. They went to the Well of the House to protest against the Assembly Speaker, who hit back at the Congress saying that the party had submitted the names of its MLAs to speak on the topic.
'One Nation, One Election an RSS agenda'
Leader of opposition, Siddaramaiah said that the topic was mentioned at the Business Advisory Committee meeting but the Congress never agreed to hold a discussion on the matter.
Siddaramaiah said that 'One Nation, One Election' is an "RSS agenda". To which, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa stood up and said he was proud to be an RSS member and that the Congress leader had no morality to speak about the Hindu organization, news agency ANI reported.
The Speaker had earlier said that the discussion on 'One Nation, One Election' was being taken up following the advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Debate over rules
The Leader of Opposition raised questions on the Speaker's decision to take up the discussion, saying that rules didn't permit for the discussion to be taken up in the Assembly. Responding to his questions, the Speaker said that he could allow the discussion under special powers conferred upon the Speaker. Siddaramaiah then accused him of misusing the special powers.
While Congress members staged a protest, JDS MLAs continued to sit quietly. The discussion will continue on Friday following which the State budget session will begin on March 8.
Later taking to Twitter, Siddaramaiah said that election to Lok Sabha and Assemblies is a subject of the Union government, accused the state BJP government of bringing the matter just sake of publicity.
Discussion a publicity stunt: Siddaramaiah
"Elections to Lok Sabha & Vidhana Sabha is the subject of Union govt. Central govt should bring in amendment to the Constitution. There is no clarity about the intention of Central govt, so there is no need to discuss about One Nation, One Election in the Vidhana Sabha now," he said.
Taking a dig at the RSS and the BJP, he further said, "One Nation, One Election' is the agenda of RSS. They have already taken our country towards 'One Nation, One Leader' which is a bad sign. We are ready to present our opinion if the State govt allows discussion on electoral reforms".
The concept of 'One Nation, One Election' was vehemently advocated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who argued that holding general and state Assembly elections simultaneously will save money and end the cycle of the exhausting practice of holding polls around the year.